Breaking Sacred Ground

Bar owner Jay Allen is taking the plunge into the concert industry with a 600-acre development near Sturgis, S.D., dubbed Sacred Grounds.

The site, which Allen plans to launch in 2006, will include an amphitheatre, campground and “playground” for bikers attending the city’s motorcycle rallies.

Allen, who owns the Broken Spoke Saloon chain, closed his purchase of the land in early August. He said he would eventually like to build several bars on the property and an informational center to educate people on Native American culture.

However, he plans to focus on learning how to run a music venue for at least the first year.

“You’re looking at a guy that learned everything the hard way; I’ve made more mistakes faster than anybody in this business,” he said.

Allen, who also runs his own film production company and motorcycle racing team, said he has helped stay afloat in the competitive Sturgis bar scene by bringing in live acts including Kentucky HeadHunters, and the Muzik Mafia’s James Otto and Shannon Lawson.